Coffee Briefing, Nov. 2, 2021 – All the recent tech news; a podcast roundup; and more

Coffee Briefings are timely deliveries of the latest ITWC headlines, interviews, and podcasts. Today’s Coffee Briefing is delivered by IT World Canada reporter Pragya Sehgal, with files from the rest of the editorial team!

Missed last week’s Coffee Briefing? We’ve got you covered.

What’s new this week

UOttawa partners with IBM to build learning facility to train for cybersecurity threats

-WaD- | Getty Images

IBM Canada and the University of Ottawa (uOttawa) have announced a five-year partnership to build and operate a Cyber Range – an immersive, interactive, and experiential learning facility that will enable research and training in cybersecurity and cyber safety. As part of the agreement, IBM is making a more than $21 million in-kind contribution to the University over five years to support business development and security training, while uOttawa will invest nearly $7 million over the same period. 

The Cyber Range, scheduled for completion in 2022, will consist of an interactive simulation room, observation rooms and a control room for monitoring simulations in the range, all located within the uOttawa Cyber Hub. Near-term examples of interdisciplinary research initiatives using the Cyber Range include the development of tailored cybersecurity scenarios for educational and professional development purposes, the study of cyber-attack management and organizational response, as well as the implementation of novel cybersecurity and cyber safety methods, policies, tools, and systems. 

At least seven faculties will use the Cyber Range including Engineering, Law (Common Law and Civil Law sections), Telfer School of Management, Social Sciences, Science, and Medicine. They will be trained on how to properly plan, respond, manage, contain, and remediate a cyber incident, to help them gain an understanding of the skills and preparation necessary to anticipate and defend against current and future threats, the two parties noted.

CCI launches executive innovation training program for corporate governance

Source: CCI

The Council of Canadian Innovators (CCI) has launched Innovation Governance Program (iGP) with the aim to help corporate leaders understand the modern threat landscape, and how to mitigate cyber risk, and provide them with the knowledge and tools they need to steer companies throughout their growth journey.

Offered in partnership with the Business Development Bank of Canada (BDC), CPA Ontario, and Export Development Canada (EDC), iGP will cover some of the key issues facing high-growth tech companies. The program’s initial six-week Fall Term begins November 4 and consists of 10 sessions that will provide current and prospective corporate directors with training to effectively identify and analyze modern governance challenges, including cybersecurity, intellectual property, data, and financial issues unique to the innovation economy. CCI says successful participants in iGP will be added to its Board Member Advisory Program (BMAP), a specialized referral program that helps Canadian companies identify prospective candidates for board roles. The council also noted that it has established the link between iGP and BMAP to create new pathways for women, members of visible minorities, Canadian Aboriginal persons, and persons with disabilities to join corporate boards in Canada. Those interested in enrolling for the Fall Cohort of iGP can find more information here.

Twitter Blue subscribers to get early access to Twitter’s new features

Source: artbesouro | Getty Images

Twitter last week rolled out Labs, which gives Twitter Blue subscribers early access to new features the company is still testing or building — before everyone else. Twitter says it might eventually roll out these features to the rest of Twitter, graduate them to static features of Twitter Blue, or may just sunset them, based on feedback it gets from subscribers. Twitter Blue first launched in Canada as a test market in June 2021.

The first features for testing via Labs that will be available to Twitter Blue subscribers in Canada and Australia include:

  1. Longer video uploads, a feature that allows users to upload and tweet videos that are up to 10-minutes long.
  2. Pinned conversations, an iOS-only feature, will enable users to pin their favourite conversations to the top of their direct message inbox with just a swipe. 

Separately the company also rolled out Spaces Recording, which will initially be available to a limited number of Twitter Spaces Hosts on iOS and all listeners on iOS and Android. It allows Hosts to expand their reach by recording their Spaces and sharing them after the live event is complete.

Schneider Electric Canada and Quebec-based robotics company form partnership to expand operational commitments 

acquisition merger

Energy management and automation firm Schneider Electric Canada has announced a new partnership with Quebec-based robotics company OptiMach. As part of the partnership, Schneider Electric says it will provide a range of solutions to OptiMach, including motion, robots, automation, control, and advisor software, enabling OptiMach to provide customers with automated and robotic solutions tailored to their exact needs and strengthen its presence in the market. The companies noted that this partnership will serve small to large manufacturing industries across the Quebec and north New Brunswick markets, with a focus on food processing, wood mill production and transformation, packaging and custom-made solutions.

Apple launches 10 new initiatives to reach its 2030 carbon-neutral goal

metamorworks | Getty Images

Apple last week announced it has added 10 new projects for its Power for Impact initiative through which it says it aims to bring clean energy solutions to communities around the world. Designed to provide renewable power to under-resourced communities while supporting economic growth and social impact, these projects are spread across several countries including the United States, South Africa, Nigeria, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam, Colombia, and Israel. 

Apple also announced it has more than doubled the number of suppliers committed to using 100 per cent clean energy over the last year, accelerating progress toward its 2030 goal to be carbon neutral across its supply chain and products. In total, 175 Apple suppliers will transition to using renewable energy, and the company and its suppliers will bring online more than nine gigawatts of clean power around the world. The company says these actions will avoid over 18 million metric tons of CO2 annually — the equivalent of taking over four million cars off the road each year. 

Canada Health grants distribution license for dental AI solution

Source: Pearl

Pearl, the provider of AI solutions for efficiency, accuracy, and consistency in dental care, has announced that it has received a Medical Device Establishment License (MDEL) for its Second Opinion AI radiology solution for dental industry from Health Canada. 

The company recently also received authorization to introduce its Second Opinion AI solution to European, Australian and New Zealand dental markets to help dentists in their detection of a broad range of dental conditions. The solution applies computer vision technologies to detect a comprehensive array of pathologies, existing restorations and natural anatomy in dental radiographs. The system analyzes radiographs in real-time, allowing dentists to display, review, add to or reject the system’s detections while conducting exams in the operatory. Dentists in Canada and other approved territories can begin using Pearl’s Second Opinion by visiting the company’s website

More to explore

IT outage hits Newfoundland and Labrador healthcare systems

An IT outage affecting healthcare services in Newfoundland and Labrador has entered its third day, with the largest regional health authority having to cancel all but emergency procedures today and likely Tuesday as well. 

Toronto Transit Commission still recovering from ransomware attack

IT staff at the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) are still dealing with the effects of a ransomware attack which was detected just as the weekend started.

Moneris to offer Visa’s “buy now, pay later” solution to its merchant customers

Visa this week announced it is collaborating with Moneris, a joint venture between the Royal Bank of Canada and Bank of Montreal that specializes in payment processing, on its buy now, pay later solution (BNPL), Visa Installments. 

Winnipeg takes home the 2021 Intelligent Community of the Year award

Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada was honoured as the 2021 Intelligent Community of the Year by the Intelligent Community Forum (ICF) at the conclusion of its virtual global summit on Oct. 28.

How to create an effective incident response plan

Having an incident response plan is crucial to surviving a cyber attack, a municipal IT security conference was told last week.

CompTIA PenTest+ exam updated to include latest cyberattack surfaces, and more

CompTIA has updated its PenTest+ exam, expanding its coverage of the latest cyberattack surfaces and putting emphasis on vulnerability management skills. 

Think like hackers do, expert tells MISA Ontario InfoSec conference

Municipal IT departments need to scan their environments for external vulnerabilities the way threat actors do, says an expert.

Channel Bytes October 29, 2021 – Canada home to world’s most intelligent community; new partner programs; TSMC partner of the year; and more

Staying informed is a constant challenge. There’s so much to do, and so little time. But we have you covered. Grab a coffee and take five while you nibble on these tidbits.

ITWC Podcasts

Listen to the latest episode of Hashtag Trending

Graphics card prices soar in Europe, password spray attacks on the rise, and social media companies lose billions due to Apple’s new ad policy.

Listen to the latest episode of Cyber Security Today

This podcast reports on ransomware arrests, an early Black Friday warning and trouble with a European COVID vaccination verification app. 




Coffee Briefing, Nov. 2, 2021 – All the recent tech news; a podcast roundup; and more

Christin Hakim

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